Review: Barbez - Barbez
Released: August 3, 2004
Listening to Barbez is like sitting in a smokey French cafe in the middle of...the Twilight Zone. They play a strange mix of styles that draws primarily on indie rock and cabaret with subtle hints of non-Western styles (a little Asian influence hear and a touch of Middle Eastern there). They've mastered the great indie rock trick of layering their sound and they use those layers to sound slightly off-time and out of tune, yet never quite out of control. The music's structure often breaks down for a few moments and quickly re-evolves just before I'm ready to write off the rest of the song. The vocals bring a dark seediness that rides on top of largely staccato notes. Even the violin sticks to short, sharp notes for the most part and when it does stray into anything longer than say a quarter note, it shrieks rather than sings. Barbez has created a sound that is agitated and vaguely unsettling, but still soothing in a very strange way. It almost feels as though they could do the music for the Grinch, but only if it didn't have a happy ending.